DIXON – Watching the excitement in her children’s eyes as they explore a place they soon will call home puts a smile on Jessica McCarver’s face.
Jeseņa Valdez, 9, Jayden Valdez, 8, and Jase Valdez, 3, wandered around the construction site as their mother beamed. The McCarver family is expected to move into their new Habitat for Humanity home at 205 Cropsey Ave. by Thanksgiving.
They were chosen the Dixon chapter’s 17th family after having met all the criteria.
“Jessica has a job, the ability to pay the mortgage on the home, and is able to put in the necessary hours of sweat equity,” said Clara Cecchetti, chairwoman of family support and a member of the family selection committee.
It is a common misconception that a family is given a house, Cecchetti said.
“It is not a free home. They have to pay a mortgage. The nice thing about a Habitat for Humanity house is that it is zero percent interest. But they only pay for the home itself. The labor is free,” she said.
James Dixon, president of the local chapter, says McCarver is doing her fair share.
“Jessica is out here with the volunteers working every Saturday morning.”
Dixon, who founded the local chapter with John Cover Jr. in 1993, said there is a regular crew of nearly 10 helpers at the site each week. By the time the entire project is complete, 140 people will have taken part in building the home.
The team welcomes new volunteers. “Just show up on a Saturday morning at 8 a.m., and we’ll put you to work,” Dixon said.
“There is a lot of finish work to do. We have the building about fully enclosed. The roof is on, drywall is up, and the windows are in.”
The kids are ready for a new home, McCarver said.
“They already talk about whose room is whose. They are really excited. We all are.”